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Participant Wellbeing - how we look after you

Promoting Participant wellbeing and engagement

At Prolific, participant wellbeing is at the core of our platform's philosophy. We believe in ensuring a positive and inclusive experience for all participants while providing them with fair compensation for their time and effort. We take the welfare of our participants seriously, especially where they choose to take part in studies containing sensitive content.

Our platform is well-designed, user-friendly and intuitive, with expert, friendly support on hand for those who need it. Here are some of the various measures we take to prioritise participant wellbeing and engagement.

Fair compensation 

We recognise the value of participants' contributions and strive to ensure their time is adequately rewarded. For this reason, we recommend participants are paid at least £9.00 / $12.00 per hour, while the minimum pay allowed is £6.00 / $8.00 per hour. We’re proud to say that our average payment rate for the last 6 months is higher still, at just over £12.00/$15.00 per hour for 2023.

Eligibility mechanisms

We also recognise the value of participants’ time and have developed innovative eligibility mechanisms to protect it. We use our participant waitlist to balance supply and demand in our participant pool carefully, to ensure there are studies for participants to engage with. We use screening functionality to ensure researchers publish studies only to participants eligible to them and, unlike their experience on other research platforms, we do not allow our participants to be screened out mid-study, meaning they're always paid for the time they spend on Prolific studies.

To mitigate participant burnout and avoid participants refreshing their screens for new studies, we offer a helpful browser extension that serves up new studies behind the scenes. This extension runs in the background, alerting participants when new studies become available. This allows participants to continue their daily activities without missing out on valuable study opportunities.

Participant opt-in and selective participation 

Participants aren’t obliged to participate in studies that don’t interest them. A significant pillar of the Prolific platform is that we are entirely opt-in by design. Participants don’t have to complete studies that don’t apply to their interests or work their way through any irrelevant studies in order to access yours.

If a participant isn’t interested in a study, they can click the ‘not interested’ button to dismiss this from their studies page. If a study has a technical issue or something problematic is present, the ‘report study’ feature, available from beginning to end, ensures that our human-staffed support team can take action quickly as reports come through. Researchers can even be blocked by participants, so they can further refine the studies dashboard to their liking.

We also provide trigger warnings and consent forms to ensure that both the researcher and participant are aligned with what to expect regarding any sensitive study content.

Our Support team & Mediation process

A key differentiator for Prolific is in how we offer a dedicated mediation process to address any participant concerns and resolve disputes. Our goal is to ensure a fair and transparent resolution that respects the interests of both our researchers and participants.

More generally, our Participant Support team is on hand to provide expert, human help for anything that our existing self-serve Help Centre content or chatbot function can’t resolve there and then. We’re proud to still offer this in a landscape where cost-cutting can often leave that human touch absent on similar platforms in this space.

Inclusive visual representation

Prolific actively promotes diversity, equity, and inclusion. As part of our commitment, we frequently will replace the waiting for studies 'have a cup of tea' mug icon with symbols that represent various initiatives, including Pride month, Ramadan, St Patrick’s Day, and many others. We aim to create a welcoming environment where all participants feel valued and respected.

Minority populations and niche participant groups are hard to find on other platforms. We invest time and effort to create an inclusive environment that supports and retains participants of all backgrounds.

Peer-reviewed data quality

To maintain the highest data quality standards, Prolific regularly publishes peer-reviewed papers. By showcasing our research methodology and data quality, we differentiate ourselves from competitors and open ourselves to scrutiny. This commitment to transparency and excellence benefits both researchers and participants.

GDPR compliance and ownership of data

We prioritise data privacy and security. Prolific is fully GDPR compliant, and participants can access their account data or request its deletion anytime by contacting support. We empower participants by giving them control over their personal information, ensuring transparency and trust. We employ legal counsel to stay abreast of incoming legislation and plan ahead.

In summary

Prolific is committed to participant wellbeing, fair compensation, and inclusivity. We’re determined to go above and beyond on participant wellbeing, not just meet the minimum viable requirements to keep the product going, through: our focus on fair pay, excellent customer support, rejection mediation, browser extensions, diverse visual representation and peer-reviewed publications. We’re personable, accessible and fully GDPR compliant. We prioritise the well-being and engagement of our participants, setting us apart as an ethical first-choice for all kinds of research, data collection, AI training and labelling. Join Prolific today and experience a platform that truly cares about our participants’ experience.

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